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Executive functions development

Camilla T Damsgaard, Lotte Lauritzen, Hanne Hauger, Stine Vuholm, Marie N Teisen, Christian Ritz, Max Hansen, Janni Niclasen, Christian Mølgaard
BACKGROUND: Most children in Western populations do not meet recommendations for fish consumption. Oily fish is an important source of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA), which reduce blood pressure and plasma triacylglycerol in adults and may affect cognitive development and behavior. However, to our knowledge, the potential effects of oily fish on cardiometabolic health, cognitive function, and behavior in children have not been investigated. The aim of the FiSK Junior study is to investigate the effects of oily fish consumption on cardiovascular risk markers, cognitive function, and behavior in healthy children...
October 21, 2016: Trials
Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus, Rola Farah, Mark DiFrancesco, Jennifer Vannest
Story listening in children relies on brain regions supporting speech perception, auditory word recognition, syntax, semantics, and discourse abilities, along with the ability to attend and process information (part of executive functions). Speed-of-processing is an early-developed executive function. We used functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to demonstrate the relationship between story listening and speed-of-processing in preschool-age children. Eighteen participants performed story-listening tasks during MRI scans...
October 21, 2016: Neuropediatrics
Nicoletta Bobola, Samir Merabet
Homeodomain proteins are evolutionary conserved proteins present in the entire eukaryote kingdom. They execute functions that are essential for life, both in developing and adult organisms. Most homeodomain proteins act as transcription factors and bind DNA to control the activity of other genes. In contrast to their similar DNA binding specificity, homeodomain proteins execute highly diverse and context-dependent functions. Several factors, including genome accessibility, DNA shape, combinatorial binding and the ability to interact with many transcriptional partners, diversify the activity of homeodomain proteins and culminate in the activation of highly dynamic, context-specific transcriptional programs...
October 18, 2016: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
William M Jackson, Nicholas Davis, Stephen A Sands, Robert A Whittington, Lena S Sun
RESEARCH QUESTION: Is there an association between regular exercise, defined as a structured program of increased physical activity at least 1 month in duration, and improvements in measures of executive functions compared with children who engage in their normal daily activities? CONTEXT: The association between increased physical activity and changes in performance on tasks of executive functions have not been well elucidated in children. Executive functioning is important to intellectual development and academic success in children, and inexpensive, nonpharmacological methods for the treatment of executive dysfunction represent an attractive interventional target...
October 2016: Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Janna M Gottwald, Sheila Achermann, Carin Marciszko, Marcus Lindskog, Gustaf Gredebäck
The importance of executive functioning for later life outcomes, along with its potential to be positively affected by intervention programs, motivates the need to find early markers of executive functioning. In this study, 18-month-olds performed three executive-function tasks-involving simple inhibition, working memory, and more complex inhibition-and a motion-capture task assessing prospective motor control during reaching. We demonstrated that prospective motor control, as measured by the peak velocity of the first movement unit, is related to infants' performance on simple-inhibition and working memory tasks...
October 7, 2016: Psychological Science
Theresia Jumbe, Sarah S Comstock, William S Harris, Joyce Kinabo, Matthew B Pontifex, Jenifer I Fenton
Essential fatty acids (EFA) are PUFA that are metabolised to long-chain PUFA and are important for brain development and cognitive function. The objective of this study was to determine the association between whole-blood EFA and cognitive function in Tanzanian children. A total of 325 2-6-year-old children attempted the dimensional change card sort (DCCS) tasks to assess executive function. Blood samples were collected for fatty acid (FA) analysis by GC. Associations between executive function and FA levels were assessed by regression...
October 21, 2016: British Journal of Nutrition
Rebecca M Stanley, Rachel A Jones, Dylan P Cliff, Stewart G Trost, Donna Berthelsen, Jo Salmon, Marijka Batterham, Simon Eckermann, John J Reilly, Ngiare Brown, Karen J Mickle, Steven J Howard, Trina Hinkley, Xanne Janssen, Paul Chandler, Penny Cross, Fay Gowers, Anthony D Okely
BACKGROUND: Participation in regular physical activity (PA) during the early years helps children achieve healthy body weight and can substantially improve motor development, bone health, psychosocial health and cognitive development. Despite common assumptions that young children are naturally active, evidence shows that they are insufficiently active for health and developmental benefits. Exploring strategies to increase physical activity in young children is a public health and research priority...
October 19, 2016: BMC Public Health
Rachel Newby, Jane Alty, Peter Kempster
Mind-brain dualism has dominated historical commentary on dystonia, a dichotomous approach that has left our conceptual grasp of it stubbornly incomplete. This is particularly true of functional dystonia, most diagnostically challenging of all functional movement disorders, in which the question of inherent psychogenicity remains a focus of debate. Phenomenological signs considered in isolation lack the specificity to distinguish organic and nonorganic forms, and dystonia's variability has frustrated attempts to develop objective laboratory-supported standards...
October 18, 2016: Movement Disorders: Official Journal of the Movement Disorder Society
Christoph Gyo, Michael Boll, Dörthe Brüggmann, Doris Klingelhöfer, David Quarcoo, David A Groneberg
BACKGROUND: State-certified occupational physicians who work as civil servants in the Federal Republic of Germany are key players in the German Public Health system. They control i.e. the legal compliance in occupational health and participate in the occupational disease procedures. Despite the role model function of the German Public health system for many developing countries, this area of Public health is debated to have been hampered in the past years by a disregard concerning structural developments...
2016: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
Takeshi Shimada, Ai Nishi, Tomotaka Yoshida, Sachie Tanaka, Masayoshi Kobayashi
We described an individualized occupational therapy (IOT) programme and examined the effects of adding IOT to group OT (GOT) on improving neurocognition, symptoms and social functioning among recently hospitalized patients with schizophrenia. The Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia-Japanese version (BACS-J), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Global Assessment of Functioning scale were used for outcome evaluations. Fifty-one patients were voluntarily assigned to either the GOT + IOT (n = 30) or GOT alone (n = 21) groups based on their preferences...
October 17, 2016: Occupational Therapy International
Paul S Foster, Valeria Drago, Brad J Ferguson, Patti Kelly Harrison, David W Harrison
The most frequently used measures of executive functioning are either sensitive to left frontal lobe functioning or bilateral frontal functioning. Relatively little is known about right frontal lobe contributions to executive functioning given the paucity of measures sensitive to right frontal functioning. The present investigation reports the development and initial validation of a new measure designed to be sensitive to right frontal lobe functioning, the Figure Trail Making Test (FTMT). The FTMT, the classic Trial Making Test, and the Ruff Figural Fluency Test (RFFT) were administered to 42 right-handed men...
December 2015: Brain Informatics
Conxa Perpiñá, Mara Segura, Sergio Sánchez-Reales
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to compare decision-making and cognitive flexibility in patients with disordered eating and weight, ranging from anorexia nervosa to obesity, and a healthy group. METHOD: Participants were 113 patients (86 with eating disorders and 27 with obesity), and a group of 39 healthy subjects; all completed the Iowa gambling task, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and several clinical self-report measures. RESULTS: Eating disordered and obese patients showed impaired performance on the decision-making task, and the obese group showed the worst performance on the set-shifting task...
October 15, 2016: Eating and Weight Disorders: EWD
Lional Rajappa-Titu, Takuma Suematsu, Paola Munoz-Tello, Marius Long, Özlem Demir, Kevin J Cheng, Jason R Stagno, Hartmut Luecke, Rommie E Amaro, Inna Aphasizheva, Ruslan Aphasizhev, Stéphane Thore
Terminal uridyltransferases (TUTases) execute 3' RNA uridylation across protists, fungi, metazoan and plant species. Uridylation plays a particularly prominent role in RNA processing pathways of kinetoplastid protists typified by the causative agent of African sleeping sickness, Trypanosoma brucei In mitochondria of this pathogen, most mRNAs are internally modified by U-insertion/deletion editing while guide RNAs and rRNAs are U-tailed. The founding member of TUTase family, RNA editing TUTase 1 (RET1), functions as a subunit of the 3' processome in uridylation of gRNA precursors and mature guide RNAs...
October 15, 2016: Nucleic Acids Research
Timothy J Hohman, Logan Dumitrescu, Nancy J Cox, Angela L Jefferson
Preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by amyloid deposition in the absence of overt clinical impairment. There is substantial heterogeneity in the long-term clinical outcomes among amyloid positive individuals, yet limited work has focused on identifying molecular factors driving resilience from amyloid-related cognitive impairment. We apply a recently developed predicted gene expression analysis (PrediXcan) to identify genes that modify the association between baseline amyloid deposition and longitudinal cognitive changes...
October 14, 2016: Brain Imaging and Behavior
T Y Brumback, Matthew Worley, Tam T Nguyen-Louie, Lindsay M Squeglia, Joanna Jacobus, Susan F Tapert
Adolescence is a period marked by increases in risk taking, sensation seeking, and emotion dysregulation. Neurobiological models of adolescent development propose that lagging development in brain regions associated with affect and behavior control compared to regions associated with reward and emotion processing may underlie these behavioral manifestations. Cross-sectional studies have identified several functional brain networks that may contribute to risk for substance use and psychopathology in adolescents...
November 2016: Development and Psychopathology
Allison N Macdonald, Katrina B Goines, Derek M Novacek, Elaine F Walker
Accumulating behavioral and genetic research suggests that most forms of psychopathology share common genetic and neural vulnerabilities and are manifestations of a relatively few core underlying processes. These findings support the view that comorbidity mostly arises, not from true co-occurrence of distinct disorders, but from the behavioral expression of shared vulnerability processes across the life span. The purpose of this review is to examine the role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the shared vulnerability mechanisms underlying the clinical phenomena of comorbidity from a transdiagnostic and ontogenic perspective...
November 2016: Development and Psychopathology
Larissa de Souza Siqueira, Hosana Alves Gonçalves, Lilian Cristine Hübner, Rochele Paz Fonseca
Introduction: The Hayling Test assesses the components of initiation, inhibition, cognitive flexibility and verbal speed by means of a sentence completion task. This study presents the process of developing the Brazilian version of the Child Hayling Test (CHT) and reports evidence of its content validity. Methods: 139 people took part in the study. The adaptation was performed by seven translators and 12 specialist judges. An initial sample of 92 healthy children was recruited to test a selection of sentences adapted from previous adult and pediatric versions of the instrument, and a sample of 28 healthy children was recruited for pilot testing of the final version...
July 2016: Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
David C Geary, Kristy vanMarle
At the beginning of preschool (M = 46 months of age), 197 (94 boys) children were administered tasks that assessed a suite of nonsymbolic and symbolic quantitative competencies as well as their executive functions, verbal and nonverbal intelligence, preliteracy skills, and their parents' education level. The children's mathematics achievement was assessed at the end of preschool (M = 64 months). We used a series of Bayesian and standard regression analyses to winnow this broad set of competencies down to the core subset of quantitative skills that predict later mathematics achievement, controlling other factors...
October 13, 2016: Developmental Psychology
Timothy J Silk, Charles Malpas, Alasdair Vance, Mark A Bellgrove
We examined the effect of a single dose of methylphenidate (MPH) on whole brain functional connectivity, assessed using resting state functional MRI (rsfMRI), in young people with ADHD. 16 young people with ADHD participated in two rsfMRI scans in a randomized, placebo-controlled study with an acute dose of MPH (20 mg). 15 typically developing controls also performed the task under placebo conditions. The network-based statistic (NBS) was used to identify differential connectivity patterns between the MPH and placebo conditions in the ADHD group...
October 12, 2016: Brain Imaging and Behavior
Markus Sack, Jenny N Lenz, Mira Jakovcevski, Sarah V Biedermann, Claudia Falfán-Melgoza, Jan Deussing, Maximilian Bielohuby, Martin Bidlingmaier, Frederik Pfister, Günter K Stalla, Alexander Sartorius, Peter Gass, Wolfgang Weber-Fahr, Johannes Fuss, Matthias K Auer
Excessive intake of high-caloric diets as well as subsequent development of obesity and diabetes mellitus may exert a wide range of unfavorable effects on the central nervous system (CNS) in the long-term. The potentially harmful effects of such diets were suggested to be mitigated by physical exercise. Here, we conducted a study investigating early effects of a cafeteria-diet on gray and white brain matter volume by means of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and region-of-interest (ROI) analysis. Half of the mice performed voluntary wheel running to study if regular physical exercise prevents unfavorable effects of a cafeteria-diet...
October 12, 2016: Brain Imaging and Behavior
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